Millville’s Leah Howard bombs the No. 15 javelin throw in state history and wins state Group 4 title!!!!!!!!

Millville junior Leah Howard popped the No. 6 javelin throw in South Jersey history Friday and won the state Group 4 title at Franklin High.

Howard threw 148-2 and won by more than 15 feet over Hailey Romero of Fair Lawn, who was second at 132-7.

Her throw is No. 14 in the U.S., according to the MileSplit database and just over two feet off the meet record for the new javelin of 150-5 set in 2019 by Alianna Eucker of Bergen Tech.

Howard came into the season with a PR of 123-3 from last year’s sectionals. He improevd to 132-10 at the Woodbury Relays, 134-10 at the South Jersey Elite and 138-6 at sectionals before bombing a 13-foot PR Friday.

Unfortunately, the timing company did not see fit to include full series info, so we can’t tell you what her five other throws looked like.

But Howard came up less than two feet from becoming the 16th 150-foot thrower in state history with the new implement, which went into use in 2002.

The only South Jersey underclassman to ever throw farther than Howard is state record holder Brielle Smith of Oakcrest, who threw 163-8 at the 2018 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington.

Her mark is just over a foot shy of the qualifying standard for the USATF Under 20 Championships in Eugene later this month.

168- 6 … Brielle Smith [Oakcrest], 2019
160- 8 … Maria Jimenez [Vineland], 2012
152- 9 … Kate Johnston [Haddonfield], 2012
152- 4 … Jill Shaner [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2009
148- 8 … Caitlin Cielo [Eastern], 2002
148- 2 … Leah Howard [Millville], 2022
146- 7 … Victoria Imbesi [Our Lady of Mercy], 2008
143-11 … Ayana Culhane [Absegami], 2016
142- 6 … Kaela Schrier [Cherokee], 2016
142- 1 … Alexa Gardner [Hammonton], 2018
141- 6 … Lindsay Minch [Pennsville], 2009
141- 5 … Kelly Yanucil [Bordentown], 2013
141- 1 … Tumelo Nwanma [Vineland], 2016
141- 0 … Jocelyn McRae [Millville], 2006
140- 8 … Julianne Foering [Rancocas Valley], 2017
140- 0 … Melissa Lake [Cherokee], 2011

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